I have a splitting headache, most likely from all the screaming and my own ravenous hunger, but it could just be that I am being crushed by the guilt I feel for obviously not handling anything well this afternoon. The best example of my lack of skills being my horribly timed preparation of dinner. The pain is awful. Nothing hurts more than realizing you are mostly to blame for your own problematic chaos.
I have an Advil in one of those very mean foil packets teasing me on the counter. It could save me, if I could only get it open with my aggressive, but not at all effective attempts to rip into it. I find myself opening packages and chopping onions and then trying to bite open the pill. I probably look as insane as I feel.
Do you think my kids would be nicer to me if I told them I had an actual mental health issue? Could I train them to only whisper to me, being careful not to startle or anger me?
I realize I am out of two key ingredients for dinner and end up using diced tomatoes rather than tomato sauce and soy sauce rather than Worcheshire. I am confident that both of those substitutions have just created a meal that my children will immediately dislike and not even bother to eat, making me wonder why I'm not just sending them to bed now after a bowl of cereal that would make me the good guy.
This could all be over and I could be pouring a glass of wine to wash down my Advil.
Cereal does sound good.
Aiden is crying at the kitchen table because he doesn't like to draw pictures for his homework, claiming he's a horrible artist so what's the point? I feel like I should be starting some inspirational speech about rising to the challenge of a task or giving everything the best we can, but instead I finally walk over and simply take the paper from him and tell him to pour the milk. I am not winning that battle tonight, I refuse to participate.
Cole is still on the floor of the bathroom where he's been lying since I pulled him out of the bath 10 minutes ago for dumping water repeatedly in his sister's face. He's crying because he's too cold to move from the bath mat to his room where his pajamas are waiting. I sort of understand his lack of inspiration to move, his wanting some one else to handle all the work while he lies there. I want a bathmat.
Today, Cole's already informed me that he isn't going to cooperate anymore, ever, because he prefers to do what he wants. He also has proclaimed that I don't love him anymore. He's thrown playground gravel at me as he sat in time out on a park bench for hitting Stella, while I discussed discipline strategy with a Dad I met about 5 minutes before that when he asked my opinion on how to handle his two year old since he saw I have so many kids.
I am very aware of how little credibility I had in that man's eyes.
I think I saw fear in his eyes.
Stella is screaming at my feet, inconsolable and desperate to be held, though picking her up doesn't come close to calming her down and only slows my progress. I keep throwing random parts to my food processor and a bag of Popsicle molds to her to try to pacify her. She is surprisingly uninterested.
I know she's hungry, but these days she screams to get anything, lacking any real words to convey her needs. We had a massive screaming fit over her wish to have me roll down her window in the van earlier today. Is it that challenging to learn the word window? Can we just get a noun of some sort? I have given her a bowl of peas, a cheese stick, and a few crackers, why am I killing myself for dinner? What else could this child really want?
I can tell you what she won't want in about 10 minutes, soy sauce and diced tomatoes mixed with meat.
I am starting to feel that there is something cosmically working against me today.
All that is moving me forward is that in less than two hours they will all be in bed. I will be alone, this mess will be over. I can dedicate the five minutes required to open that foil package of pain medication. I can stop instructing and assisting and calming and reprimanding and freaking out.
I can eat, only waiting on myself.
Today is not extraordinary outside of the gift of having it. This dinnertime-bedtime scenario is not unusual. It's not always this bad, but it's always rough in some way. It's always exhausting and frantic, regardless of my plans. There are just so many of them and they need so much.
When do they stop needing me so much? I'm looking for a time with significantly less tears.
I'm trying so hard to be grateful for this time with my small children at home. I am trying to put my phone down, cut myself a break on the frequency of blogging, and stop and seriously smell the roses, or in this case my kids, more often.
I am trying. I really am....but all I smell is stale urine and sloppy joes gone ary.
Linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.